Microsoft's Windows 10 privacy practices are once again being put under scrutiny. After finding itself in hot water in Europe in recent years, the company is now under the spotlight in Brazil. Regulators in the Latin American country are concerned by the way Windows 10 collects data from users.
Specifically, federal prosecutors in Brazil say the platform takes data without “express consent”. To rectify the situation, Microsoft would need to change the default installation for Windows 10. Currently, the platform gives “Automatic Approval” for Microsoft to collect data.
Authorities also say within the default settings of Windows, the platform is set to collect browsing and search history. This includes contents of emails and user locations for targeted advertising.
Windows 10 does give users the chance to opt out of data collections. However, Brazilian politicians believe the process for doing so is “labor intensive and complex,” as Windows is set to collect by default.
To smooth the experience, regulators want Microsoft to offer alerts to help users better understand “the consequences of authorizing the transfer of data.”
The company has been given 15 days to stop automatic data collections. If Microsoft does not make the necessary concessions, the company will face a fine of 10 million reais ($2.8 million USD) and 100,000 reais ($28,637 USD) for each day until the situation is resolved.
Microsoft's Windows 10 privacy shenanigans have caused the company problems since the platform launched. In Europe, the continent's regulatory body, the European Commission has been unhappy with the company's practices.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has been a notable critic of privacy matters on Windows. Since then, Microsoft has been working to make privacy on Windows 10 easier to understand. Coming to the currently delayed Spring Update is Windows Diagnostic Data Viewer and Privacy Dashboard.
Microsoft said of ongoing privacy evolution on Windows:
“Our commitment is to be fully transparent on the diagnostic data collected from your Windows devices, how it is used, and to provide you with increased control over that data. This is all part of our commitment to increase your trust and confidence in our products and services.”